Revelation 3:1-6 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of G-d, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things, which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before G-d. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (KJV)
Sardis -name means "remnant" The Revival church age. (A.D. 1517 1700) - Spiritually dying church.
The temple of Artemis was here. Pagan worship was practiced by most of the city. There were many mystery cults and secret religious societies.
The church here had a reputation among the churches in the area and was considered a spiritual church. However in G-d's eyes they were "spiritually dead"
This is symbolic of the Reformation Period. A compromising church had surrendered the great truths, which were recovered in the reformation period.
Revelation 3:7-13 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my G-d, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my G-d, and the name of the city of my G-d, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my G-d: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (KJV)
Philadelphia -name means "brotherly love" The Revival church age. (A.D. 1700 1900) Faithful witnessing church.
Y'shua has nothing bad to say about this church. He commended them for two things. They confessed to the inspiration of the Word of G-d and to the incarnation of the Son of G-d.
The corresponding period in church history saw great missionary work.
Revelation 3:14-22 Laodicea -name means, "peoples rights" The Worldly Church age. (A.D. 1900 Rapture). Lukewarm church.
Y'shua had nothing good to say about them!
2 Timothy 3:5 - Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV)
This city was a banking center and possessed immense wealth. Eye ointment was made here. It was also known for its wool distribution and manufacturing. Yet Y'shua said they were miserable, (spiritually) poor, (spiritually) blind, and (spiritually) naked.
Y'shua said they were lukewarm. Every time I read this verse I think of TEA. I like ice tea and I like hot tea. But don't give me lukewarm tea. YUCK!!! I would that it were hot or cold. Y'shua apparently has more respect for fiery hot fanaticism or for icy cold formalism than for lifeless and lame lukewarm ness.
This is the state of many churches today. Y'shua told us nearly 2000 years ago that the last period in church history before he returns would be lukewarm.
Friends let us not be lukewarm in our faith and spiritual walk.